A multi-channel approach to customer service, whereby consumers are able to communicate with their favorite brands in numerous ways, yields the best results, a new Verizon study suggests.
The company recently polled more than 5,600 people across 16 countries and found that, while artificial intelligence (AI) is a great addition to customer service, a human touch is still welcome.
Many brands have deployed AI chatbots and other means of automated communication to cut down on waiting times and provide quick ways for customers to get answers to frequently asked questions. While the majority (56 percent) said they were comfortable with an automated interaction, some did say a connection with a human is also needed.
Almost two-thirds (62 percent) seek direct interaction with a human, while a third (37 percent) want a fully or partly automated interaction, to troubleshoot an issue.
When it comes to troubleshooting an issue, a blended multi-channel interaction is at least as satisfying as a human-only interaction for the majority of the respondents, if not more.
Businesses should also be wary that consumers demand transparency. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said they want more transparency from companies using AI-powered chatbots.
And while a multi-channel approach does seem to be the best option today, it might may not be the best option tomorrow. Almost half of the younger generation (aged 18-34) said it was entirely possible to have a “human connection” in a fully automated interaction, further stating that interacting with machines online is a “more positive experience” than it was just two years ago.
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